750 Miles on Grand Bois Extra Leger

This winter has been rough. Snow, more snow, 27,000 miles on planes, and the isolation of living in the mountains. I thought I wouldn’t mind, since I come from the country, but the contrast to downtown New York City is pretty stark. It’s worth it, though, for the glorious spring, summer, and fall. Now I understand why people buy summer homes!

One thing that did improve my winter was the arrival of several pairs of Grand Bois Extra Leger tires in 32 mm and 23 mm. Because of the snow and travel, I’ve only put about 700 miles on the 32s and less than 100 on the 23s since they arrived in late December.

Tire cropped

These are the best tires I’ve ever had a chance to ride, period. Handle one and you’ll see a clear difference in construction–the sidewalls of these tires are so pliant they actually wrinkle.The ride is spectacular–I’m riding very rough roads and a lot of gravel, and the Extra Legers ride fast and smooth through everything. Given the type of abuse I subject tires to, I was worried that they would flat faster than a pair of Parigi-Roubaix on the north end of NYC’s West Side bike path the day after July 4, but as it turns out they’ve been flat free, even after a missed turn earlier this week resulted in a 2-mile ride over fist-sized sharp gravel.

Some of my friends are going to be mad at me for saying this, but the 23 mm version makes tubulars irrelevant, and the 32 mm version is superior to any other wide clincher available in 700C.

Now, let’s see how durable they are…next review in 1000 miles. It might take a while, because it’s starting to get nice out, which means switching back to the English on FMBs.

And one last note: Give me 25s, damnit.



6 thoughts on “750 Miles on Grand Bois Extra Leger

  1. robertkerner

    Based on one of your earlier posts, I bought a set of Grand Bois (Cypres). They are far-and-away the nicest tires I’ve used and have transformed the ride quality of my bike from riding on a flatbed truck to sitting on a couch. No issues with flats either. I have to give the Extra Legers a try next.

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  3. Dell

    I have been riding bikes since the early 70s & the Gran Bois 700×32 Extra Leger is the single greatest thing I have ever put on a bicycle. Would love them in 25-might just have to try the 23s.

  4. Ewain

    Got a set of the standard Grand Bois Cerf’s in 28mm for last summer and absolutely loved them, but after a cut sidewall I haven’t dared ride them over the winter, as british road grit is pure evil and seems to consist mostly of razor blades (you should see the state of the 28mm conti 4 seasons on at the mo).

    But, as we all now know that bigger and more supple (suppler?) is faster, I really want to try the 32mm Extra Leger’s.

    But.. I weigh in at 250lbs+, and roads around here are naff, but imagine similar to less frequently traveled mountain roads you ride, and you seem to manage.

    Does the extra volume, suppleness, and a tread that comes up higher in relation to the 28mm’s, really make that much of a difference?

    1. Ewain

      That last paragraph should really have been worded thus – Will the extra volume, suppleness, and a tread that comes higher up the sidewall in relation to the ground than a 28mm really make that much of a difference to reliable durability (within reason)?

      Or maybe – Can this tyre be ridden in the winter on bad roads in the UK by a rugby player sized rider and still be reasonably reliable?!


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